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PennCrest forces Game 3

Mirror photo by Patrick Waksmunski Cam Crawford of Professionals Auto Body advances to third as PennCrest Bank’s Justin Fleck awaits the throw.

Carson Kensinger had his entire repertoire of pitches doing its job Monday night.

Consequently, there will be a third and decisive game tonight to determine the champion in the Altoona Teener Major League.

Kensinger — a left-hander who will be a freshman this fall in the Altoona Area School District — allowed only four hits in 6• innings, striking out seven batters and walking just two, to lead PennCrest Bank to a 10-3 victory over Professionals Auto Body on Monday at Seitz Field, and squaring the best-of-three championship series at a game apiece.

The game to decide the league title will be played tonight at

7 p.m. at Seitz.

“My fast ball was doing well, my change-up was working, and I was getting strikes with my curve ball,” Kensinger said.

According to PennCrest manager Jon Fleck, that’s par for the course for the standout pitcher.

“We have a lot of kids who can pitch, but he’s our number one pitcher,” Fleck said of Kensinger, who departed from the mound after reaching the league maximum 95 pitches while retiring the first batter that he faced in the seventh inning. “His performance tonight kept us alive and gave us a Game 3.”

Kensinger also drove in three runs with a bases-loaded, two-run single in the top of the third inning that helped stake PennCrest to a 3-0 lead, and a run-scoring single in the seventh. PennCrest also got three hits and two RBIs from shortstop Connor Blough.

Fleck said that Kensinger can do it all on a baseball field.

“He hits well, throws well, fields well and runs well,” Fleck said. “He’s a pretty well-rounded baseball player. He’s a great kid, and we’re glad that he’s on our team.”

Kensinger also drew praise from Professionals Auto Body manager Kent Martin.

“He pitched a hell of a game,” Martin said. “He came out ready to win tonight, and he did that. He was hitting his target.”

After Professionals Auto Body scored twice in the bottom of the third inning to pull to within 3-2, PennCrest added a single run in the fourth on Blough’s RBI single, and another in the fifth when Kensinger walked, moved to second on a single by first baseman Reese Evans, and scored on a subsequent error.

Leading 5-3, PennCrest blew the game wide open with a five-run seventh inning against Professionals Auto Body relievers in which PennCrest benefited from three walks, a hit batsman, and an error.

Both managers are expecting a spirited battle for the championship tonight.

“It’s going to be a good Game 3,” Martin said.

Fleck concurred.

“It will be a good game,” said Fleck, whose team also prevailed in three games in both the quarterfinals and semifinals. “This is our third straight series where we’re going three games. We’re doing it the hard way.”

PENNCREST (10): Blough ss 313, Young cf-2b 210, Hopkins rf 421, Kensinger p-cf 212, Evans 1b 401, Clapper c 301, Mountain 2b-p 210, Helsel lf 310, Fleck 3b 322, Minnoia eh-cr 110, Bridenbaugh eh 100. Totals –27-10-10.

PROFESSIONALS AUTO BODY (3): Stapelfeld p-1b 400, Smith 2b-p-2b 200, Bukosky ss 202, Stevenson cf 300, Horn lf-c 311, Hartman 3b-p-3b 300, Stampley c 201, Martin rf-lf 210, Crawford 1b-2b-rf 110. Totals –22-3-4.

SCORE BY INNINGS

PennCrest 003 110 5–10 10 1

Professionals Auto Body 002 100 X–3 4 3

2B–Hopkins, Bukosky, Horn. RBI–Kensinger 3, Blough 2, Young, Smith, Stampley. SAC–Crawford, Minnoia. SF–Smith. SB–Young 2, Blough, Bukosky. WP–Kensinger. LP–Staplefeld. SO–Kensinger 7, Mountain 1, Stapelfeld 3, Smith 2, Hartman 1. Holtzlander 1. BB–Kensinger 2, Staplefeld 3, Smith 3, Hartman 1, Holtzlander 2.

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